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MIT 17 871 - Assignment -17.871

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17.871Spring 2006Group ProjectsAssignment summaryWorking with your assigned group, answer the question posed to you. You will give a15-minute presentation (with 10 minutes available for questions) on your work on March 14. Your group will also turn in a nine-page written report on your project on Friday, March 17. (Please e-mail a copy to me by 5:00 pm., in one of the following formats: doc, wpf, or pdf.) Thereport should be in the form of a (mini) term paper meaning, among other things, that it shouldfollow the format described by Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses,and Dissertations. The paper should do the following:1. State, or re-state, the question, and discuss to whom the question is important and why.2. Review any relevant literature you can find, either in journals, press accounts, or books.3. Describe your method, including, how you measured the variables of interest (dependentand independent variables) and where you gathered the data.4. Summarize your findings, using the appropriate figures and tables.The nine page limit includes tables, figures, and bibliography.Statement about CollaborationYou are encouraged to seek and extend as much help as you can, both within and betweengroups. I expect you to be meticulous in citing the written work of others that you use.GradingI will assign a letter grade to each group's project. That will be the grade you receive, plus orminus an adjustment that will be determined as follows: I will ask each member of the group toindicate the relative amount of effort each person contributed to the successful completion of theproject. If someone in the group stands out as being a conspicuous over- or under-contributor tothe group effort, that person's letter grade will be adjusted upward or downward as appropriate.2Project 1: Support for Extending the USA PATRIOT ActNames: Daniel Barclay, Adam Groce, Zachary OzerQuestion: What explains congressional opposition to or support for the extension of the USAPATRIOT Act?Possible explanationsPartisanship. George W. Bush has become associated with waging the War onTerrorism and his co-partisans in Congress rally around him in supporting theUSA PATRIOT Act extension, while Democrats try to derail him/it. Therefore,Republicans should be more supportive than Democrats.Ideology. Conservatives historically have been more likely to take a hard-line approachto domestic dangers, and therefore more conservative members should be moresupportive of the extension than liberals.Civil libertarianism. Civil libertarians (who are usually liberals, but not always) believethat it's wrong to restrict civil liberties, even under the most dire of nationaldangers. Therefore, the strongest civil libertarians will oppose the extension.Constituency characteristics. Representatives will respond to their constituents' desires,and therefore those with more Republican or conservative constituents will bemore likely to support the extension.Electoral vulnerability. Legislators who are "cross-pressured" by electoral strength ofthe opposite party in their district/state will sometimes try to diffuse opposition byacting against type. Therefore, for instance, Democrats from districts with moreRepublican strength in the electorate may be more likely to support extensionwhile Republicans from districts with more Democratic strength may be morelikely to oppose.Data The "Thomas" web site is the portal to U.S. congressional action. Included therein is a bunch of detail about the path of legislation, including rollcall votes.Voteview web site. Keith Poole's web site that has datasets thatmeasure general liberalness and conservatism of representatives. (These arecalled "NOMINATE" scores on the web site.Robert S. Erikson, Gerald C. Wright, and John P. McIver, Statehouse Democracy. Bookabout state-level ideology and partisanship, with data.Interest group web sites (like from the ACLU) often contain "scorecards" that ratelegislators according to how often they vote according to the group's goals.Congressional Directory contains basic data about members, including most recent votetotals.3Comments/hintsThis project asks you to consider a range of explanations for why legislators do what theydo when they make national security policy, sorting through a bunch of explanations that,themselves, are highly correlated with one another. It asks you to consider "legislative"behavior; remember that Congress has two chambers and the data availability for eachchamber may be different. As of this writing, the legislative process is ongoing, so youmay also have to improvise your measures of "support" and "opposition" to extensionbased on what has happened to date.4Project 2: Women in Parliaments.Names: Tabitha Bonilla, Jakob Hopping, Laura HajjQuestion: What explains the variation in women's representation in parliaments around theworld? Possible explanationsDuration of democracy. Young democracies struggle with the most basic implementationof democratic rules, therefore these countries might treat women's representation,and other minorities' rights, as a second order concern.Regime type. Presidential regimes are characterized by their lack of flexibility and"winner takes all" nature. Access points to power are determined by the presidentand the leading political parties making it difficult for women to survive in a maledominated environment. Parliamentary systems are more flexible and governingcoalitions are more likely to be formed. Therefore women should have morepolitical representation in parliamentary regimes. Electoral rules. Countries where voters have to support one candidate in a single memberdistricts may place more weight on the candidate's gender. Countries where voterschoose among party lists in multimember districts may give more importance tothe party and not to each candidate's gender. Ethic fragmentation. Countries with more than one social cleavage may find difficultiesin enforcing equality of representation for all groups. The higher the ethnicfragmentation in a country the less priority will be given to women'srepresentation. Stage of development and inequality. In countries where all the material needs of itscitizens have been fulfilled other non-material issues, such as gender equality, arewelcome in the political debate. Wealthy countries should have more women intheir parliaments. In the same line of reasoning, income inequality should benegatively

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